Glasgow Queen Street railway station

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Glasgow Queen Street ( Glaschu Sràid na Banrighinn in Gaelic) is a railway station in Glasgow, Scotland, the smaller of the city's two main line railway termini and the third-busiest station in Scotland. It is between George Street to the south and Cathedral Street Bridge to the north, at the northern end of Queen Street adjacent to George Square. Queen Street station serves the Greater Glasgow conurbation's northern towns and suburbs, the Edinburgh shuttle, and is the terminus for all inter-city services to destinations in the North of Scotland.

The station was built by the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, opened on 18 February 1842. In 1865 the E&GR was absorbed into the North British Railway, which became part of the LNER group in 1923. The climb through the tunnel to Cowlairs is at 1 in 42 and until 1909 trains were hauled up on a rope operated by a stationary engine, although experiments were carried out using banking engines in 1844-48. In 1945 there was a minor railway accident when a train leaving the station slipped to a standstill and rolled back into another train. Modern diesel trains have no difficulty with the climb. The adjacent Buchanan Street station of the rival Caledonian Railway closed on 7 November 1966 as a result of the Beeching axe and its services to Stirling, Perth, Inverness, Dundee and Aberdeen transferred to Queen Street. This caused difficulties with longer trains, as Queen Street is in a confined position between George Square and the tunnel. In the 1980s HST were used on Cross Country and East Coast services, having to use Platform 7 with the end of the train being close to the tunnel mouth. Currently (2008/09) trains are usually of two to six coaches, running more frequently.

Queen Street station's platforms are on two levels, with the High Level platforms running directly north-south, and the Low Level running east-west. They are connected by staircases at either end of the Low Level platforms, and by lifts accessible from Platform 7 on the High Level.

High Level
The High Level station is the larger of the two levels, and is the terminus for the Edinburgh shuttles and all routes north of the Central Belt run by First ScotRail diesel multiple units. The high level railway approaches the station building through the Queen Street Tunnel, which runs beneath the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre to the Sighthill area northeast of the city centre. Platforms 1-7 occupy the High Level, Platform 1 being at the western end of the trainshed, and being considerably shorter - it is usually only used for local stopping services.

Low Level
Platforms 8 and 9 comprise the Low Level station, and it is the most central stop on the North Clyde Line of the Glasgow suburban electric network. Trains run frequently between Helensburgh, Balloch and Milngavie on the Firth of Clyde, towards Airdrie, on the edge of the Greater Glasgow and onward to Edinburgh via Bathgate and Livingston. The line is electrified; the fleet operating this route are Class 318s, Class 320s and Class 334s The Low Level line between High Street, Queen Street and Charing Cross was built before the Glasgow Subway, making it the oldest underground railway in the city.

Routes - past and present

Queen Street signal box, opened in 1881, was on a gantry spanning the tracks close to the tunnel mouth. It closed on 26 February 1967 when control of the high level station was transferred to a panel in Cowlairs signal box. That box was superseded by the new Cowlairs signalling centre on 28 December 1998. The low level station had two signal boxes, 'Queen Street West' and 'Queen Street East'. Both boxes were over the tracks and closed on 8 February 1960. The low level lines came under the control of Yoker Signalling Centre ( IECC) on 19 November 1989.

Various schemes to link Queen Street to Central Station have been considered, as passengers travelling from the north of Scotland to the south and vice-versa via Glasgow have to cross the city centre. The Glasgow Subway serves neither station, however a moving walkway was installed as part of the Subway modernisation in the late 1970s which connects Buchanan Street station with the west entrance of Queen Street. The preferred solution to the problem is Crossrail, using a disused freight line that links High Street to the Gorbals area. This initiative was reviewed favourably, but progress has been stalled indefinitely as of 2009. In August 2006 Network Rail revealed that it intends to redevelop Queen Street substantially, making use of the Hanover Street car park area to provide more retail space, and to upgrade the station's entrances, and to provide escalators down to the lower level platforms - at present there are only steep staircases at either end of Platforms 8/9, and lifts which have to be reached using a circuitous route via the main line platforms. The CRT screens that displayed train timetables and passenger information were replaced with new LED information boards similar to those in Glasgow Central Station but smaller, in January 2008. In 2009, the Scottish Government announced that the Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line will be electrified by 2016, meaning that overhead line electrification will be installed on the high level platforms of Queen Street.

Preceding station National Rail Following station Glasgow High Street First ScotRail North Clyde Line Charing Cross Terminus First ScotRail West Highland Line Dalmuir Terminus First ScotRail Croy Line Bishopbriggs Terminus First ScotRail Cumbernauld Line Springburn Terminus First ScotRail Maryhill Line Ashfield Terminus First ScotRail Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line Croy Terminus First ScotRail Glasgow to Aberdeen Line Stirling Terminus First ScotRail Highland Main Line Stirling Historical railways Glasgow High Street Line and Station open North British Railway Glasgow City and District Railway Charing Cross Line and Station open Terminus North British Railway Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Cowlairs Line open; Station closed


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